Plans to take passengers to Redmire

A fundraising appeal has been launched to restore passenger services on the westernmost section of the Wensleydale Railway to Redmire.

Although the heritage railway leases a 22-mile route between Redmire and Northallerton West, it has been more than three years since the last train ran any further west than Leyburn. This is due to the deteriorating condition of track and infrastructure on this 5½-mile section of the line, much of which dates to before the First World War.

According to the Wensleydale Railway, this part of the railway is predominantly constructed on ash ballast, wooden sleepers, and 90lb ‘North Eastern Rail’, and is now heavily worn. There is also a considerable amount of vegetation to be removed, re-ballasting to be done, and drainage renewed.

In addition, major infrastructure work is required to build a second platform and to replace the footbridge at Leyburn, while also resignalling the area.

The total cost of the upgrade is estimated to be over £1 million.

The appeal is aimed at ‘pump priming’ the project and to provide crucial support for larger grant funding applications.

Donations can be made online at:

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  • Daniel Woodward - 30/09/2022 14:57

    I would query the estimated cost given, this can not be for five and a half miles of track to be replaced to an “acceptable” standard for passenger trains, even on a Heritage Railway. Chinnor & Princes Railway Association is currently engaged in a similar exercise to replace the former “Watlington Line” (now designated as the “Chinnor Independent Line”), between Princes Risborough station and “Thame Junction”. This will provide the Chinnor Railway with access to their platform at Princes Risborough, without having to use Network Rail tracks, as done at present. The previously existing state of the track seems to be the same as on the Wensleydale, with the original track laid in the 1870’s with remedial work done by the GWR and British Railways in the last century. The last service passenger train having run in 1957, with freight operations ceasing in 1990. Original draft costs to relay this half a mile only section of line, using “new” products resulted in a “materials only” cost in excess of £500,000 ( 2016 prices). Whilst it is accepted that these costs can be greatly reduced by using suitable “pre-used” items, in order to satisfy ORR/HMRI approvals the items used need to meet certain requirements and possibly transport costs as well. It is because of these factors that I question the £1m figure given, unless this is a “seed” amount to generate / unlock grant money from elsewhere? In the meantime, Chinnor Volunteers have lifted the original track and including sleepers etc and are engaged in fund raising to enable the purchase of the required materials. Due to financial constraints, a proportion of which will be from “second hand” sources.

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 10/11/2022 22:33

    The Wensleydale Railway is a heritage railway in Wensleydale and Lower Swaledale in North Yorkshire, England. The Wensleydale Railway plc is responsible for the operation, maintenance and development of the railway line and passenger services. The company has a mixture of employed and volunteer staff. The line formerly ran from Northallerton to Garsdale on the Settle-Carlisle Railway but the track between Redmire and Garsdale has been lifted and several bridges have been demolished, although one of the stated aims of the Wensleydale Railway is to reinstate the line from Redmire to Garsdale. Additionally, a separate proposal exists to link Hawes to Garsdale with a view to providing commuter and tourist services rather than heritage services. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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